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Nekoma, North Dakota

The Pyramid of North Dakota

The remnants of an early American attempt at missile defense. 

The Stanley R. Mickelson Safeguard Program was developed in the 1960s to shoot down incoming Russian intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Built at a cost of six billion dollars in Nekoma, North Dakota, the site was a massive complex of missile silos, a giant pyramid-shaped radar system, and dozens of launching silos for surface-to-air missiles tipped with thermonuclear warheads. It included a PAR “backscatter radar” site, designed to follow missiles being fired from Russia, which it would shoot down over Canada.

However, due to its expense, and concern over both its effectiveness and the danger of detonating defensive nuclear warheads over friendly territory, the program was shut down, having only been operational for less than three days. Its massive tunnels were flooded. Today it is a military-industrial shell in the middle of nowhere, or in the words of one writer, “a monument to man’s fear and ignorance.”

Know Before You Go

The closest town is Langdon North Dakota which sits 7 miles to the north of Nekoma and 20 miles west of the PAR radar at Concrete, ND. Langdon sits at the intersection of State Highways #1 & #5 which is approximately 15 miles south of Canada and 40 miles west of Minnesota. See below for Google Earth and lat/long coordinates. Don't miss the Sprint Missle still standing in the middle of the Langdon Park!